Sat 13 Oct 2012
Twenty years ago Liliana and me visited Paris for the first time in our lives. It was a memorable trip from many respects, and one of the major highlights of that first encounter with the magic city was the exhibition Munch et la France at Musee d’Orsay, one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of Munch’s art ever, focused on the personal relation and artistic synchronicity between Munch and the major artistic movements of his time which were mostly coming from or inspired by Paris.
Without the need to compare with that exclusive show, the currently open ‘Encounters in Edvard Munch’s Space’ exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art contains a remarkable set of prints which echo many of the major paintings and themes created by Munch during his life. The show is also enriched with works by three Israeli artists (Orit Hofshi, Michal Heiman, Shai Zurim) in dialog with Munch, as well as a few films made by Munch in the late 20s in Germany, while he was experimenting with a camera.
Vampire from 1895 focuses on the relation between the two characters hinted by shapes and the striking color of red on the (mostly) black and (some) white surface of the rest of the print.
Jealousy dated 1896 is one in a series which combine the psychology and the social commentary which reminds us that Munch and Ibsen belong to the same space and times.
The malady and death of his sister was an event that influenced strongly Munch emotionally and inspired him into creating a long series of work dealing with loss, absence, death – here is The Sick Child from 1896.
Anxiety (also from 1896) is poignant with the direct and blank stares, reflecting the deepness of the feelings of angst of the humans.
There is nothing that needs to be said about this print version of one of the most famous works in the history of art.
Dated 1930 Self-Portrait with a Wine Bottle seems like a glaze back to a life of creation and artistic success built on some of the most troubled feelings, events, relations that the human soul can encounter. It is also a good closing for the exhibition and my short review.